Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 20, 2009

TAKE A BOW.... Fox News polls are notorious for asking nutty questions that mainstream outlets would be too embarrassed to consider, but the network's latest (pdf) survey only includes one oddity.

"When the president of the United States is traveling overseas, do you think it is appropriate for him to bow to a foreign leader if that is the country's custom or is it never appropriate for the president to bow to another leader?"

The results no doubt disappointed the network -- 67% of Fox News' respondents said customary presidential bows are fine. Even a majority of self-identified Republicans (53%) agreed that the gesture is appropriate.

And yet, despite the fact that the country doesn't seem to care, this was considered a pretty huge deal in media circles all week, generating items in the AP, Newsweek, the NYT, and of course, Fox News. (In fairness, some of those items were questioning the seriousness of the "story.")

As Greg Sargent noted, "It's another sign, if you needed one, of how far off to the right some contemporary conservative discourse has drifted. It's also a mark of how absurd it is that some traditional news orgs actually felt obliged to, er, bow to the pressure to cover this particular line of criticism."

Steve Benen 10:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

Can we try to be a little less naive here? The bowing thing...hmmm? Why that symbol of subservience has never come up before with any other preznits?

Gee, I'm trying to think... What's different with Barry O'Bama? Why the right wing revulsion all the time... Duh...I just don't understand it.

Posted by: neill on November 20, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty funny that the MSM is critical of Obama's bow when they genuflect on bended knee as Big Corporate's piss boy

Posted by: Bobo Teh Clown on November 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

WHEN THE MAJORITY IS MISGUIDED is only when you don't like the results of a given poll?

Posted by: Rick on November 20, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Well, at least he didn't make out with and hold hands with a Saudi prince. If any, any, President ever did that, the right wing would come unglued.

Posted by: doubtful on November 20, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

@Rick/10:38

No.

Posted by: neill on November 20, 2009 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

It just proves that the majority of Americans are now the ENEMY and we must purge our land of all impure thinkers!!

Posted by: Conservatroll on November 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The bowing thing fits very nicely into the story arc the discredited Republican party is busy weaving. It doesn't much matter that, at the moment, the public doesn't seem to care so long as the story is spread far and wide. When the moment is right, the public will be made to care. If the Party of No's plan of total obstruction goes well and the economy falters, right when things get bad enough, like the Jews in Germany (the original "other"), minorities in America will be made to take the blame for Republican policies.

Tinfoil Hat Warning

ACORN stealing elections, Our first black President bowing to foreigners, Fannie Mae causing the housing/financial collapse, Rising Debt (not by wars or previous tax cuts) but because of out of control spending by the socialist liberals, an enraged mass of TEA party grassroots fighting back........these are the story plot points for the Republican strategy, and they were scripted nearly 80 years before by another discredited party in a little place called Germany.

Posted by: oh my on November 20, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Absurd, too, that they make this point only concerning King Abdullah, a fake king of a fake lineage, his kingdom created as a sop to revolutionaries by British imperialists, and the emperor of the line that approved the attack on Pearl Harbor. Really, if Obama had some hidden urge to bow to someone, he could have chosen someone holier . . . the Dalai Lama, for instance.

Posted by: Midland on November 20, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's... well, call it Obama Derangement Syndrome. But that's a euphemism.

Posted by: MattF on November 20, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

There's criticism and then there's absurdism.

The row over bowing is most assuredly, absurdism.

Is it just possible that absurdism will find it's rightful place in

our lexicon?

We are seeing "un-hinged" rants about absolutely absurd this and thats.

2009. The year absurdism made it's way into the dictionary!

Bow-wow to the bow-bullies.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

It's not really drifting to the right, so much as the right is drifting into insanity. There could be some "conservative" philosophy behind their reasoning, but most of it is just knee-jerk reaction from the right wing.

Maybe someday the liberal left will be able to make "conservative" sound like "bat-shit crazy" to Americans the same way the conservative right has managed to make "liberal" mean "tax and spend, homosexual, child pornographers, stoner traitors" now.

Posted by: martin on November 20, 2009 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is a bit off topic, but when I clicked on the link for Greg Sargent's PlumLine in your post, I found it's now an "application/x-gzip" and needs to be downloaded. I usually visit the PlumLine at least once a day and this never happened before. Anyone know what's up with the site?

Posted by: mrspeel on November 20, 2009 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think most of the wingnuts cannot understand the difference between an elected leader and the imperial emporer or royalty of a country, I think Obama was using the correct protocol, although I would hate to see him kiss the Saudi king!

Posted by: JS on November 20, 2009 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to those "In a lighter vein..." closings for newscasts? This stuff is made for that.

Posted by: Doug on November 20, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

oh my @ 10:54 AM -
When the "teabaggers" start forming street gangs to beat up gays, blacks, Jews, union members and their political opponents - when they start that, I'll worry.
Right now, though, I believe more popcorn is called for.

Posted by: Doug on November 20, 2009 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I discussed this issue with my students over here in Japan and all of them felt that merely a handshake would not have been following protocol but felt that the bow was far too deep. The bow he genuflected to the Empress was sufficient and appropriate. None of them could believe that this was overblown so way out of proportion!

Posted by: Michael on November 21, 2009 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK
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